Saturday, January 8

Some wine and some late night rumination on nothing in particular

From CURRY.COM: Adam Curry's Weblog

"Observation: I've been in the states for 4 days now and haven't once watched television
I did watch a movie with Dave and Kris. American Splendor, which Dave bought for me as a gift in the music /movie store near our hotel. It is indeed excellent, some parts of this true story even grazed my own life back in the MTV 80's and 90's.

The only bummer was that we still didn't play by all the legal rules. Despite receiving a legally paid for dvd, I was promptly alerted to the fact that I had inserted a 'Region 1' disc into my 'Region 2' drive, and would only be allowed to switch regions 3 more times after this. No explanation of what happens after that. I guess I have to throw my laptop out, or replace my collection of porn dvd's with those of the appropriate region. Oh, I forgot, they don't use that horseshit on porn dvd's. They like their customers.

Well, It's 3am, I made the mistake of taking a nap today (something which is quite unusual for me) and now I find myself up at 4am, not that I keep regular hours anyway. I realized i hadn't had a drink in quite a while so I thought it'd be a fine time to have a little wine. As such, I thought I'd try something new, and just speak freely about nothing to much in particular in a blog post. A little rumination, a little rambling and a little pontification.

Since Adam Curry doesn't seem to have comments on his blog I'm going to start with an open question for him.

Adam, The launch of MTV was a truly revolutionary time for both media and youth culture. It's definitely something even the most jaded or simply "old" :) people could be proud of. This podcasting thing is of the very same nature. Both were or are huge steps forward in the democratization of media and you've lived or are living both. Kismet. Anyway, I was just wondering...

First, What it is like not only to have participated in one, but to find yourself in what could possibly be the middle of a second revolutionary or atleast evolutionary step? Indeed it remains to be seen what podcasting, still in its infancy may bring, but it very may actually end up being a bigger legacy than MTV.

Second, There is insight that can be gained in a second go around and I was wondering if there's something to be learned from your previous experiences at MTV. I myself have been involved in at least one upstart evolutionary business and upon reflection my only regrets were not moving on things sooner. Now those moves seem so obvious. So the question is, do you have any regrets or if not regrets and thoughts on things you would have done differently?

Finally, perhaps I missed it, indeed I haven't looked, but those early years at MTV were obviously an exciting time, and you in the hot seat. The question is: Have I overlooked a book, an auto biography on that era? Because, as mentioned, I think there could be a lot to learn in the way MTV created an original business in a new and unproven broadcast medium. Here we are again sitting on the tip of broadcast medium that will allow another order of magnitude of in capacity for niche markets or even new markets that will evolve beyond niche markets, said markets of one. MTV was very much a similar story to that of Ted Turner and CNN, but without the stuffy suits. :)

ALSO, about your comments on regional DVD's and the porn industry actually liking (and trusting) it's market. TRUE. VERY TRUE. You hit it all right on the head. Regional DVD's are a look at the absurdity of DRM, they in NO WAY even slow down widespread pirating, in fact they may encourage it as they create discouragement among their market and even inefficient and unnatural scarcity in the geographic markets.

This brings me to another topic....

I laugh at recent comments like those of Bill Gates who would call the copy-left crowd communists. FUCKING ABSURD. The truth is that a communist would not trust equitable distribution to the edges of the market. Only a true communist would think distribution and control could be best legislated and controlled centrally. Who here is the communist Bill Gates, or Linus Torvald?

Those fools that would think it a wise idea and indeed a right to determine what individual people can do in their own homes and amongst friends. These absurd and stupid mother fuckers (yes you heard me right), are leading us down a path to a lawless era where an increasingly huge black market will exist and indeed must exist to meet the needs of and keep the health and vitality of a world information ecosystem. Their concept of pirating is me buying food out of a discount grocery store in the US and shipping it around the world to somone starving. Their concept of pirating neglets our children who cannot afford to buy their way into their own culture (a very dangerous message indeed). It neglects geographic regions, and whole cultures. Bill Gates to pull the plug on hebrew translation in Word and what is the recourse. Open source software and indeed a black markets exist because they MUST exist.

Right now is already and increasingly a black market where people in third world countries steal pieces of software because the cost of the software would be more than their years salary. The old system of artificial copyright maximization is vastly inefficient at determining a fair market value for huge market segments (at finding a fair and equitable distribution) and not only do such copyright maximalists not acknowledge these inefficiencies in the old system, but they cling to them even more desperately and seek to increase their domination by increasing their advantage plitically.

It's very much a dead end road for them. A world where they collect their absurdly overpriced royalties from 1% of the market share while the rest of the world functions outside of their controls, either stealing from or bypassing these incumbents altogether in a need to function, to survive or even just to participate and belong in their culture. It's not that information wants to be free, it's that PEOPLE WANT TO BE FREE. To the extent that I can express this, that we can all express and share this or other similar visions, to the extent that we can manifest these ideas, is to the extent that there is hope for a more humane future. Good night.

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